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March 05, 2009   Email to Friend 

By Kim Hall
(334) 613-4187
March 05, 2009

Nancy B. Caffee
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A successful teacher must be able to "support a positive learning environment," says Nancy B. Caffee, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science at Cleveland High School in Blount County, but has found there are plenty of other places where she can teach outside the walls of a classroom.

That's why Caffee's students may experience learning on field trips to Birmingham's McWane Center, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the Space & Rocket Center, the Civil Rights Museum or the Chattanooga Aquarium.

"Teaching is a rewarding experience and can happen anywhere ... Students need opportunities to question and find answers for themselves," explains Caffee, who utilizes a variety of teaching methods, such as visual, auditory, expository and kinesthetic learning to reach each and every student.

That's why Caffee has been selected Alfa's Teacher of the Month for March, earning her a $1,000 award from Alfa Insurance and Cleveland High School a matching $1,000 award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Caffee, who holds bachelor's in secondary education from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a master's in secondary education from the University of Phoenix, says some of her teaching methods are based on the words of J.W. Bryant: "Believe in something or fall for anything." It's a philosophy that inspired Caffee to believe in -- and encourage -- all her students, no matter the situation.

This school year, Caffee is taking a leading role in implementing the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at Cleveland High. Plus, with more schools facing budget limitations, Caffee often seeks outside funding for special projects and has received numerous grants that has allowed the school to expand its science department.

During 2009, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation will honor one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state board districts, as well as two principals and two private school teachers.

Application information is available under Alfa Teacher of the Month in the Ag Links section of www.AlfaFarmers.org.

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